Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Nespresso


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 cdh

cdh
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,221 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia area

Posted 22 April 2004 - 03:23 PM

I'm visiting a friend who has been singing the praises of his Nespresso machine to me for a while. At home I have the grinder and pump machine and had been a little skeptical that little plastic capsules could come close. My skepticism was a little irrational since I'd gotten a pod accepting machine for use at the office and had no problems with the coffee that came out of the Illy pods.

So now I'm here, and so is the Nespresso machine and a half dozen different varieties of the little plastic pods. I'm actually somewhat impressed.

The espresso comes out with a beautiful crema, and tastes like a well made shot. The different blends that I've tried so far have shown that there is certainly some diversity of selection. Not the same as if you had a home roasting setup and a broad selection of green beans to play with, but a nice breadth of flavor profiles is available.

My one remaining argument against supporting the nespresso system is that it supports the Nescafe empire, with its tendency to view coffee as a bulk commodity and drive prices down to the point that some growers of unusual and interesting beans can't make a living doing so.

Just my thoughts for the moment... pretty good coffee system made by a giant corporation.
Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

----- De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

#2 dougal

dougal
  • participating member
  • 1,279 posts
  • Location:England

Posted 04 June 2011 - 12:45 PM

Odd that there should be just the one thread, with just that one post.

I'm a recent convert, and would echo cdh's judgement of "pretty good coffee system made by a giant corporation".

Really my only complaint is that Nestlé/Nespresso are determined to position the brand/range/system as being high-end-or-nothing.
The machines aren't cheap, but I found a nice one (an old Magimix M250, with programmable shot sizes) on eBay.
Capsules aren't outrageously expensive - considering that they work VERY well - and there is a distinct difference between the different blends on offer. I have my preferences, but I haven't yet found a variety that I dislike. But unless you live near a very few (3 in the whole country?), very chic shops, they must be delivered - and the delivery options don't have an economic option for the patient!
But, hey, they think I must want to buy 'designer' nespresso-branded merchandise at absurd prices. Not just cups and saucers, but 'capsule display systems' (really). Honestly, I don't.
But I would like a cheap rack to conveniently hold a few capsules ready for use. I have just one option under $20 (and its definitely not available through Nespresso!)
Maybe Nespresso has some ex-Apple marketing people!



The capsules are actually made of thin aluminium.
I'd like to recycle the aluminium, and compost the coffee grounds, rather than just send them to landfill.
Its messy, and not very effective, but you can cut the capsule open with scissors.
There's a neat hand-tool on offer for this job. Its £20 (US $35). So, how many years would I have to use it to salvage $35-worth of Aluminium and compost? Its not a complex tool, but its for the premium system, so it carries a premium price.


My opinion is that the system 'works'.
By which I mean that it delivers decent espresso with minimal fuss and zero skill.
ISTR that Blumenthal serves Nespresso at The Fat Duck - so its acknowledged that 'the system works'.

There may not be much to discuss, but the Forum Search only pulls up that singular post, and from SEVEN years ago!
Is there a conspiracy of silence?

Edited by dougal, 04 June 2011 - 12:46 PM.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#3 runwestierun

runwestierun
  • participating member
  • 439 posts

Posted 04 June 2011 - 01:51 PM

I have the machine that has the milk frother attached. It froths milk insanely well. And I am not a barrista. The machine makes good tasty espresso consistantly, better and more consistantly than I can myself.

I also like that it's idiot proof. I generally make espresso when we have guests. I can operate the machine and keep in the conversation. I don't have to consentrate on what I'm doing. I know that sounds like a cop out, but I like things that make entertaining easier without compromising quality.

I also like having many different varieties on hand, way easier than storing and grinding many varieties of beans.

The milk frother will heat (or not) the milk and froth it perfectly. No evil spurting wand. The whole thing is contained, and couldn't be easier to clean.

The espresso does have a beautiful crema, and with the tasty capsule varieties and the perfect froth, I am very happy with this machine. I got mine at Sur la Table.
http://www.surlatabl...50560/Nespresso

#4 nickrey

nickrey
  • society donor
  • 2,250 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 04 June 2011 - 03:45 PM

I am really Impressed by the output of Nespresso machines. If you want a consistently good product with little to no learning required, they fit the bill extrremely well.

If you want an exceptional coffee, however, you still can't beat something like a Rancilio Miss Silvia. The difference is that it takes a great deal of effort in teaching yourself or being taught how the use the machine to surpass the Nespresso type standard and most people would not be willing to take the extra effort.

Just a note on restaurants using these machines: they use a variant called the Nespresso professional, which uses different pods and has a different build to the domestic machines.

I've tried all of them and would rate the domestic machines as consistently good, the professional machines as consistently very good and a well made espresso machine variant as very good but with the possibility of ranging from excellent to outstanding.

Edited by nickrey, 04 June 2011 - 03:50 PM.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog


#5 dougal

dougal
  • participating member
  • 1,279 posts
  • Location:England

Posted 05 June 2011 - 11:02 AM

Just a note on restaurants using these machines: they use a variant called the Nespresso professional, which uses different pods and has a different build to the domestic machines.


Thanks for opening my eyes to the 'Pro' side.

Looks like they intended it not least for use in offices (quite apart from restaurants) and recognised that a subtly incompatible capsule would reduce 'stock shrinkage' considerably.
Also interesting (and seemingly understandable) that they would offer a very stripped-down range of capsules in the Pro format (and naturally, larger packs of pods!)


I'd be interested to hear and learn more about "a well made espresso machine variant".
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#6 runwestierun

runwestierun
  • participating member
  • 439 posts

Posted 05 June 2011 - 12:55 PM

Dougal,
Help me out. I don't understand what this "subtly incompatible capsule" is. Could you please explain?

#7 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,404 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 05 June 2011 - 02:33 PM

Odd that there should be just the one thread, with just that one post.

The capsules are actually made of thin aluminium.
I'd like to recycle the aluminium, and compost the coffee grounds, rather than just send them to landfill.
Its messy, and not very effective, but you can cut the capsule open with scissors.
There's a neat hand-tool on offer for this job. Its £20 (US $35). So, how many years would I have to use it to salvage $35-worth of Aluminium and compost? Its not a complex tool, but its for the premium system, so it carries a premium price.



I know someone who has one and, like you, wants to recycle. He uses a chestnut knife.
He found an inexpensive standing wire rack at a hobby shop that revolves and the sections are just the right size to hold the pods. He said it was made to hold hobby paints that come in little jars that are about the same size as the pods.

Edited by andiesenji, 05 June 2011 - 02:33 PM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#8 dougal

dougal
  • participating member
  • 1,279 posts
  • Location:England

Posted 05 June 2011 - 02:41 PM

Dougal,
Help me out. I don't understand what this "subtly incompatible capsule" is. Could you please explain?


Hey, its new to me - BUT - when I went looking I found
http://www.nespresso...al-coffee-range
and it looks to me as though the 'pro' capsules have a domed, not flat, base (the outflow side).
see also http://www.nespresso...ules-dispensers
Which I'd bet would make the pro capsules not fit into domestic machines.
Which would make a great deal of sense where pilferage could possibly be a problem!

I had come across references in eBay auctions to "ensure that these capsules will be compatible with your machine" and not appreciated what was being referred to.
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#9 runwestierun

runwestierun
  • participating member
  • 439 posts

Posted 05 June 2011 - 05:40 PM


Dougal,
Help me out. I don't understand what this "subtly incompatible capsule" is. Could you please explain?


Hey, its new to me - BUT - when I went looking I found
http://www.nespresso...al-coffee-range
and it looks to me as though the 'pro' capsules have a domed, not flat, base (the outflow side).
see also http://www.nespresso...ules-dispensers
Which I'd bet would make the pro capsules not fit into domestic machines.
Which would make a great deal of sense where pilferage could possibly be a problem!

I had come across references in eBay auctions to "ensure that these capsules will be compatible with your machine" and not appreciated what was being referred to.


Ah, I see! Thank you, now I get it.

#10 Deus Mortus

Deus Mortus
  • participating member
  • 142 posts
  • Location:Zwolle, The Netherlands

Posted 06 June 2011 - 01:29 AM

I am rather surprised by this post, I have tried nespresso's and sure there are worse coffee machines out there, but it is by no means decent coffee. I find the taste overly bitter and lacking many of the complexities of good coffee and all that for ridiculous prizes. I personally run with a cheap burr coffee grinder, a french press and a good friendship with my local coffee roaster and I can't even imagine someone drinking the coffee I make and going "Hey you know what, this is good, but so is nespresso!". Hell, I make it a point to convert people away from stuff like that and while that's mostly senseo drinkers, I have converted a couple of nespresso drinkers who were genuinely surprised at how much better the coffee was.

So what am I missing, are dutch nespresso machine's/cups worse? Do you guys not have local roasters? Or is it an ease of use thing, because with some practice, french press and such are really pretty easy ways to make coffee.
"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."
-Winston Churchill

#11 nickrey

nickrey
  • society donor
  • 2,250 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 06 June 2011 - 05:26 AM

A coffee is a combination of the beans, the grind, the technique used, and the person making the coffee. If one of these elements is not functioning well, you can get shocking coffee. Even in cafes where they are using the same coffee and equipment, one barista can produce coffee nectar while another produces undrinkable swill.

Good luck to you if you can make good coffees to your own taste using such comparatively rudimentary equipment. If you like French press coffee, that is a good technique for you.

I consider coffees made with my home espresso machine much superior to both nespressos and French Press coffees but I also drink double ristrettos which is something you cannot do with either a Nespresso machine or a French press.

In my opinion if people want an easy alternative that gives an ok result, the Nespresso is a viable alternative. Not perfect but if I wanted perfect, I'd use an espresso machine in preference to a French Press (actually this is what I do).

People can always try different methods to see if they like them. They just need to know that for most methods they will need to learn and practice new skills. With the Nespresso they know that they can recreate exactly what they taste in the shop as the machine takes all of the factors I mentioned in the first paragraph out of the equation.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog


#12 cdh

cdh
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,221 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia area

Posted 06 June 2011 - 05:50 AM

For what it's worth, I'm still grinding the beans and using a Gaggia myself... the Nespresso my old friend swears by is still OK when I visit, but I'm still happier doing it myself when I'm at home.
Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

----- De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

#13 Deus Mortus

Deus Mortus
  • participating member
  • 142 posts
  • Location:Zwolle, The Netherlands

Posted 06 June 2011 - 05:50 AM

I would murder for the money and kitchen space for a good espresso machine, but making a cup of really good coffee with a french press is really quite easy. People keep telling me it's an acquired skill and make it sound like you need years of training, which really isn't true. You might make an argument for the difficulty about pour-over coffee and I might agree, but with the french press, as long as you measure, you really can't go wrong.

And again, I have tasted Nespresso coffee and it isn't anything like the coffee from a good coffeehouse, so again I'm left wondering whether you Americans might have superior coffee in those Nespresso cups.
"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."
-Winston Churchill

#14 vengroff

vengroff
  • participating member
  • 1,808 posts
  • Location:MadVal, Seattle

Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:19 AM

Count me as another Nespresso fan. I would not have thought of trying it except that Sur La Table was offering free samples one day when I was in. I wasn't expecting much and almost fell over when I tasted it and it was not just decent but actually quite good. As others have said, they really get some serious crema.

I bought a home machine for our office (~10 people) and it gets pretty heavy daily use. After two years it's still running strong. We occasionally descale it, but that's it.

Is the espresso as good as the best local independent cafes? Of course not; it's not even close. But for a quick shot in the office kitchen 5 meters from my desk it is awesome.
Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook
MadVal, Seattle, WA
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

#15 GlowingGhoul

GlowingGhoul
  • participating member
  • 107 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:39 AM

Add me to the Nespresso appreciation club. Results are consistantly excellent, and while not on par with the best barristas, it's better than many coffee house coffees I've tasted.

My only gripe is the .55-.60 USD price per capsule.

I am stunned that the Keurig K-Cup system is so popular though. Blech. My BUNN A-10 produces drip coffee that's infinately better in quality.

Edited by GlowingGhoul, 23 February 2012 - 11:42 AM.


#16 vengroff

vengroff
  • participating member
  • 1,808 posts
  • Location:MadVal, Seattle

Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:42 PM

I am stunned that the Keurig K-Cup system is so popular though. Blech.


I don't drink much drip coffee in general, but I agree that all the K-Cup stuff I have tasted has been awful.
Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook
MadVal, Seattle, WA
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

#17 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,404 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:54 PM

An email from Williams-Sonoma just appeared in my inbox with the message they they have "Permanently reduce the pricing on our entire line of Nespresso espresso makers..."
A quick look shows they have reduced them $20 to $50 - the latter the Essenza C100.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#18 Ed P

Ed P
  • participating member
  • 14 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:39 PM

My partner works from home but likes espresso-type drinks. I got him a Nespresso for Christmas, not sure if he would like it at all. He loves it. Is it as good as the coffee he gets at local coffeehouses, no, not even close. Is it as good as Starbucks, maybe. But, its quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive. And it doesn't take up much space on the counter.

#19 janeer

janeer
  • participating member
  • 1,255 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 06:16 PM

He loves it. Is it as good as the coffee he gets at local coffeehouses, no, not even close. Is it as good as Starbucks, maybe.

I wonder where you live. I consider my Nespresso to be better than anything except for two places--one in Philadelphia, one in Santa Monica, and as good as I can get in Tucson, NYC, Boston. Starbucks? Drek.

#20 Ed P

Ed P
  • participating member
  • 14 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:23 PM

Live in Atlanta. Octane Coffee here is great, and they are now roasting their own beans (they used to use Counter Culture).